Mission: SPACE is one of those attractions that guests either really love or totally hate. Though this attraction was originally designed to inject some thrills into Epcot in the early 2000s, the intensity of this space simulator was too much for many guests, and gave this attraction a bad reputation right from the start. And even though Disney lowered the gravity on this attraction just a few years later, Mission: Space has yet to really find a fanbase, barely garnering more than a 30 minute wait time on most days, even when Epcot is moderately crowded.
However, Disney has made some recent announcements about the future of this ride that could help bring guests back to this space-themed simulator, and breathe new life into an attraction that has remained stagnant for far too long. It was recently confirmed that Mission: Space will finally reopen from its extensive refurbishment in just a few days on August 13, 2017, perhaps not coincidentally on the same day that Ellen’s Energy Adventure inside the Universe of Energy is slated to close. However, timing aside, Disney has confirmed that there will be some big changes in store for guests who revisit this thrilling Epcot attraction when it reopens in a few weeks…
A brand new mission for the Green team
Though the green “less intense” side of this attraction has never been all that popular, Disney may be trying to make this side of Mission: Space a lot more alluring for guests by introducing an entirely new mission for guests to enjoy. When this new mission debuts on August 13th, guests will be able to take part in a gentle journey around Earth from orbit that has been described as Soarin’ in space.
During the ride guests will be able to take in popular sites visible from orbit like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy’s “boot” and the Northern Lights as seen from space before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
In addition to the new mission, Walt Disney Imagineering has announced that this attraction will be a bit more family-friendly when it re-opens in just a few weeks as the height restriction will be changed for the Green Mission side with the addition of new X-2 booster seats which will bring the height restriction down to just 40 inches, which is the same as Soarin’ and Test Track.
The Orange Team mission gets a technical upgrade
When Mission: Space re-opens next month, the majority of guests will probably be running to check out the new green team mission. However, fans of the more intense orange team mission will also see some upgrades on this side as well. Though the actual mission to Mars remains unchanged, Disney has completely remastered this mission and installed crystal-clear HD monitors as well.
This is certainly a change that has been a long time coming, as the blurry, low-res monitors have always felt a bit out of place for this high-tech attraction. But now, thanks to these technical upgrades, Mission: Space will finally feel like something that actually belongs in Future World.
Will these changes make Mission: Space more popular?
Though Mission: Space was originally conceived as an attraction that would bring a science-themed trill ride to Epcot, the fact is that guests simply haven’t responded to this attraction in recent years, with many wondering if Disney might just close this attraction and start over with something new. However, it looks like Disney has doubled down on Mission: Space with all these upgrades, and is specifically responding to criticisms that the green side is boring and inaccessible to young guests.
While only time will tell if these improvements will renew guest interest in this attraction, it looks like Disney is really hoping that guests will start coming to this attraction in bigger numbers as this park begins to reinvent itself in the coming years. And while FastPass+ availability has been plentiful thus far, perhaps after this attraction has its grand re-opening some positive word of mouth will help re-ignite interest in this attraction.
What do you think of all of these changes for Mission: Space? Will you be riding this attraction the next time you visit Epcot? Or will you still be Let us know in the comments below!
-From Theme Park Tourist, July 27, 2017 by Amanda Kondology
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